Pizza restaurant DOUGH&co to open in former McDonald's unit in Anchor Street leisure complex
A restaurateur is determined to grab a pizza the action in Bishop’s Stortford by investing his dough in reviving long-vacant premises in Anchor Street.
Christopher Sharman, who worked as a fine-dining chef with Marco Pierre White, is getting ready to open the third branch of his Italian-style chain in the leisure centre’s former McDonald’s burger joint.
The 27-year-old is gearing up to open 50 Dough&co Woodfired Pizza outlets over the next five years and wants Bishop’s Stortford to be a cornerstone of his empire.
The first opened in Sudbury in July last year and was followed by one in Colchester in December.
He plans to transform the Anchor Street premises using the company’s trademark furniture made of recycled wooden pallets.
The 80-cover restaurant, with a staff of up to 20, will have an open kitchen so diners can see chefs prepare a range of authentic pizzas “with an English twist” using imported Italian ingredients and a range of local produce.
Mr Sharman said that his Stortford branch would also have a short pasta menu. It will open from noon until 11pm every day and offer takeaway and delivery options.
The premises have had a chequered history. When the centre opened in 2000, McDonald’s set up shop alongside Cineworld Cinemas, Cannons Health Club, PB Bowl, KFC and Chicago Rock Bar and Diner. None of the original tenants remains. McDonald’s shut in 2010 and was eventually replaced by the ill-fated and short-lived Zest diner.
Managing director Mr Sharman, who formerly worked at The Thatchers in Hatfield Heath, believes he has the right recipe: “I’m absolutely positive that it will be a success.”
He pointed to the neighbouring Bishop’s Goods Yard housing development – including a new Premier Inn hotel without a restaurant – and said: “I think it’s a perfect place.”
He aims to welcome the first customers by September 14.